Building » Hebburn – St Aloysius

Hebburn – St Aloysius

A large red brick Gothic Revival church and early work by Charles Walker of Newcastle, replacing an earlier school-chapel. The church was reordered for its consecration in 1999. 

Hebburn expanded considerably during the mid-nineteenth century due to the growth of the local colliery, the shipbuilding industries, and chemical works. The mission was established in the 1860s from St Bede, Jarrow. Mass was initially said in the Ellison Buildings, and the first resident priest arrived in December 1871. The following year, a school-chapel opened on part of the present site. The present church was opened beside it by Bishop Wilkinson on 3 June 1888. The architect was Charles Walker and the principal contractor Mr Lumsden of Jarrow. At the time of opening, the Newcastle Daily Journal described the church as being in the Early French style. The tinted glass windows were provided by Messrs Reid & Millican of Newcastle and the benches by Messrs George Clark & Co of West Hartlepool. The overall coast was £5,000. Several additions were planned as a second phase, including side chapels, a tower and belfry, and an organ gallery.

In 1912, a porch was added to the church. After the end of the First World War, the Lady Chapel was added as a war memorial. During the interwar years, the presbytery was extended (the extension is now used as the parish office). In 1947, an organ gallery was erected in the (liturgical) south transept. The old school-chapel was demolished in the late 1970s and a new parish hall built on its site (opened 1984).

The south gallery was destroyed by fire and removed. In the late 1990s, the church was reordered by the architect John Waugh, who also replaced some of the windows and the floor. The church was consecrated on 28 October 1999.


The church faces southwest. The following commentary uses conventional liturgical orientation, whereas the list description uses the actual orientation.

The church is described in the list entry (see below). However, that description requires a few updates and additions.

  • As noted above, there are several later additions to the church: the northwest porch (1912) and the Lady Chapel (c.1919).
  • The south transept gallery (in the list entry ‘north transept gallery’) was installed in 1947 and was removed following a fire in the 1980s or 1990s. As far as is known, a gallery in the opposite transept was never realised.
  • Following the most recent re-ordering, few of the original sanctuary furnishings described in the list entry are still present. The side screens, the communion rail and pulpit have all been removed. The pierced timber screen set against the east wall may be a remnant of the original scheme. Tabernacle stand, altar and lectern (part of the 1999 reordering) are all of stone and incorporate one or more columns with unfinished capitals inspired by the capitals of the nave arcade and transepts.
  • The original octagonal stone font is set against the west wall on a raised railed pavement. Behind it is a cast-iron rail with angel heads in the balusters.
  • On corbels on either side of the west windows are a few painted organ pipes (disused).
  • The Lady Chapel has a statue of Our Lady of the Rosary framed by a timber reredos on a timber altar.
  • Other statues in the church include: St Anthony, St Teresa, St Patrick, the Sacred Heart, St Agnes, St Aloysius and St Joseph.
  • There are few stained glass windows in the church. The east rose has modern glass depicting ecclesiastical symbols in the eight circles around the centre window with a stained glass cross. The west window has decorative patterned glass. The Lady Chapel has three pairs of lancets depicting the Annunciation (c.1921), the Coronation of the Virgin (c.1918) and the Nativity (c.1916).
  • An uncarved corbel in the north transept bears the date of the opening of the church (1888), while another opposite commemorates its consecration (1999).
  • The Stations of the Cross are paintings in gabled and crocketed timber frames.

List description


RC parish church. 1888 by C Walker of Newcastle. Polychrome brick with terracotta and sandstone dressings; roof of Welsh slate. 4-bay nave, with north and south aisles and south porch; 2-bay chancel. Double transepts, apsidal chapel to north transept. North and south elevations : 3 over 3 lancet windows to each transept gable, with 3 slit openings in the peaks : 3 lancets to each aisle bay, 2 to each bay in the clerestory; angle buttresses with 1 set-back and gablets at east and west ends, buttresses with 3 set-backs to transepts and aisles. West elevation: round window, sandstone, with plate tracery in round-headed brick recess having gauged brick arch; small lancets in peak flank corbelled pilaster bearing cross finial. Hood moulds, beast and flower stops, strings, gable and buttress copings of terracotta.

Interior: boarded roof with scissor- braced trusses, alternate ones having strutted arch braces and resting on corbels of stone and brick, continuous over nave and chancel; Lady Chapel apsidal with arch-braced wood roof; north transept contains gallery with organ case, but only corbels show position of south gallery either removed or not built; central arcaded beam supports transept roofs; corbels of angels and mythical beasts; glass, mostly original, by Reed Millican of Newcastle. Furnishings: altar and reredos by John Gallagher of Newcastle, are Gothic, as are the side screens and communion rail and pulpit of similar design. Source: Jarrow Express 8th June, 1888, p.7: report of opening.

Heritage Details

Architect: Charles Walker

Original Date: 1888

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Grade II